Pass The Laptop: Patti LuPone: Gypsy in My Soul At Royce Hall/Reprise


In which our cultural barb machine, the Macho Show Queen, and the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Mary Melton, conduct a post-show assessment at Kate Mantillini.

MSQ:  One of Patti’s encores was “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Company sung with a martini in hand.  So it is only appropriate that we discuss her show over our own martinis.  One for you, one for me, and one for Mahler.

MM:  I’ll drink to that. 

MSQ:  But before everybody rose for the encore, she began her show with a song about Broadway and then oddly enough very little about the Great White Way.  Seems she was dealing more with the non-theatre gypsies in the first act.

MM: Well, gypsy is in the title. Just because she is La LuPone doesn’t mean you should hem her in by such restrictions: You must only sing about Broadway! Not fair.

MSQ:  Agreed, but she’s so closely associated with so many shows that even when she sings a song like Cole Porter’s “C’est Magnifique” I couldn’t help but think of her as Fantine in Les Misérables singing Forbidden Broadway’s parody “Hello, come in and see the people spin, oooh, la, la, la, Les Misérables.”  Perhaps I wasn’t in my right mind.

MM: Possible—you did admit to drinking before the show. Of course you closely associate her with the shows, but she took care of that in the second half of the evening. Don’t you think she, ahem, nails Porter, by the way? C’est magnifique to not only hear that but “So in Love” and “I Get a Kick Out Of You,” too. 

MSQ:  I get a kick out of you, too, Mary. And this martini. 

MM: You and your Grey Goose. Speaking of grey (British spelling, in honor of Sweeney Todd, which she sadly did not cover tonight), girlfriend is 62 and looked gorgeous tonight, don’t you think? I haven’t seen her with flowing locks since the cover art for The Baker’s Wife. I think I’m inspired to grow my hair out. 

MSQ:  I totally agree.  And even though she and Madame Buckley battle over ownership of “Meadowlark” from that show, Ms. Patti definitely wins when it comes to music directors/pianists. Let’s just say I was very inspired by Joseph Thalken.  He’s Magnifique for the ears and the eyes and the ….

MM: What did you think when she landed one on his lips after their duet from The Robber Bridegroom?

MSQ:  Oddly I wanted to be on both sides of that kiss….at the same time.

MM: There would have been room! I was delighted that Reprise chose Royce Hall as the venue, as I find the Freud Playhouse, where they usually stage performances, a tad cramped and icy cold. 

MSQ:  And there’s no way that stage could have held Eva Peron, Nancy from Oliver!, Reno Sweeney and Mama Rose (though I would have loved her to have performed “Rose’s Turn” instead of “The Nights on Broadway” which made me think she one day might be stuck in Mamma Mia!).

MM: Of course you had to work in Mamma Mia! Will you ever forgive me for dragging you to the ArcLight to see it? I’ll never forget the moment you leaned over to me during Pierce Brosnan’s solo and said, “You. Owe. Me.”

MSQ:  I think you still do.  By the way, since we paid for these tickets (which we’re both happy to do to support Reprise), why do you think they didn’t want this show reviewed?  It’s Patti.  We both love her, even if we wished for a modified set list.  In the words of Toby and/or Mrs. Lovett, “Nothing’s gonna harm you.  Not while (we’re) around.” Don’t they know you and Patti are BFF and she told you (correctly) the sex of your unborn child eight years ago?

MM: She is a soothsayer. Maybe they didn’t want to incur the wrath of MSQ. Seriously, you’d be crazy to miss any opp to hear Patti sing live. And I’m all for supporting Reprise, since it’s one of the few venues in this town truly promoting musical thea-tuh. Wait a minute, did you just hit on that cute waitress? Wassup?

MSQ:  You went off on a tangent about potatoes and potassium and I had a choice whether to listen or flirt with the waitress.  Speaking of potatoes, back to martinis (I just received Mahler’s!). The pleasure of seeing Patti LuPone sing “The Ladies Who Lunch” was worth every penny we donated to Reprise.  (20,000 pennies to be exact – not counting service charges.)

MM: Patti is pure pleasure—even with that wacko Gaynor-meets-Adrian Zmed Dance Fever disco encore that followed up “Ladies Who Lunch.” I hope that she is drinking to her four standing ovations tonight! And of course prepping for her show with Mandy Patinkin that’s opening on Broadway. Evita and Che: On Golden Bueños Aires. 

MSQ Addendum: Mary just spotted Florence Henderson at dinner…from behind. How Mary’s knows Carol Brady’s bottom is beyond me.

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